Arizona Legalization Ballot Initiative Guide - Freedom Leaf | Freedom Leaf

Arizona Legalization Ballot Initiative Guide

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Name:  Arizona Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act
Ballot Number:  Prop 205
Front Group:  Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona
Backer:  Marijuana Policy Project
Key Provision:  Home growing of up to 12 plants

Like many states, Arizona has its share of marijuana activists fighting for legalization. Unfortunately, the activists who did not succeed in putting their ideas on the ballot are now actively working to subvert the activists who did.

The story begins with the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which has successfully placed four legalization initiatives on this November’s state ballots, including their Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona (CRMLA).

During early campaign deliberations, the existing medical marijuana industry objected, claiming that MPP’s new legalization scheme would put them at a disadvantage. Dispensary owners threatened to go forward with their own legalization plan, until negotiations with MPP led to a measure that medical businesses and national funders could agree on. Specifically, CRMLA mandates a limited number of commercial licenses that would be offered first to existing medical marijuana growers, processors and retailers. That led to grassroots activists crying foul about the collusion of big-money players leaving out the little guy. In turn, they formed Arizonans for Mindful Regulation (AZFMR) and embarked on their own legalization initiative campaign. But CRMLA made the ballot (in August), and AZFMR did not.

Jason Medar and the folks behind AZFMR subsequently formed Marijuana Consumers Against Fake Marijuana Legalization (MCAFML), a group openly opposed to CRMLA—along with police, sheriffs, drug rehabs, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Party.

Prop 205 is fairly similar to the four other adult-use initiatives proposed this year (see California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada). Adults 21 and older could possess up to an ounce of flowers and up to five grams of concentrate). Adults could cultivate six cannabis plants each, with a limit of 12 per household, and possess all the resulting harvest from those plants at the home.

The cultivation allowances are huge news for Arizona’s medical marijuana patients, who are currently banned from home growing within 25 miles of a dispensary. Also included in Prop 205 are protections for child custody and organ transplants for marijuana consumers. There’s even a prohibition on punishing adults for the detection of marijuana metabolites in their body, which would seem to nullify Arizona’s DUID law with regard to cannabis.

Marijuana would be subject to a 15% point-of-sale excise tax. The number of retail stores would be limited to one for every 10 liquor stores (a total of 149 pot shops). Localities could ban new licensees by passing an ordinance, but they can’t stop existing medical marijuana licensees from getting recreational licenses. There’s even an allowance for pot lounges by 2020.

 – Russ Belville


This is part of Freedom Leaf’s 2016 State-By-State Ballot Initiative Guide.